Discussion:
Conspiracy in sf
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a***@gmail.com
2019-05-07 02:06:17 UTC
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In Dune, the Bene Gesserit is acting in secret to manipulate leaders and create a genetic super being. In Foundation, IIRC, the second foundation is working secretly to control history.

It seems people are always working behind the scenes in order to control history. Any examples from more recent SF?

Abhinav Lal
Writer & Investor

"If you are doing good,
why try to hide it?"
D B Davis
2019-05-07 02:27:44 UTC
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Post by a***@gmail.com
In Dune, the Bene Gesserit is acting in secret to manipulate leaders and
create a genetic super being. In Foundation, IIRC, the second foundation
is working secretly to control history.
It seems people are always working behind the scenes in order to control
history. Any examples from more recent SF?
An excerpt from the back cover blurb of _The Hidden Truth_ (Schantz,
2016):

The conspiracy suppressed a crucial paper by Oliver Heaviside.
Three other scientists, Maxwell, Hertz, and FitzGerald, died -
or were killed - before they could complete their work.



Thank you,
--
Don
Kevrob
2019-05-07 04:34:30 UTC
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Post by D B Davis
Post by a***@gmail.com
In Dune, the Bene Gesserit is acting in secret to manipulate leaders and
create a genetic super being. In Foundation, IIRC, the second foundation
is working secretly to control history.
It seems people are always working behind the scenes in order to control
history. Any examples from more recent SF?
An excerpt from the back cover blurb of _The Hidden Truth_ (Schantz,
The conspiracy suppressed a crucial paper by Oliver Heaviside.
Three other scientists, Maxwell, Hertz, and FitzGerald, died -
or were killed - before they could complete their work.
Of course, there was Norman Spinrad's "Agent of Chaos."

Here's an article referencing various conspiracies:

https://aescifi.ca/the-truth-is-in-there/

Illuminatus! is probably the conspiracy-oriented novel/trilogy
that gave me the most chuckles.

I liked Matt Ruff's "Bad Monkeys," also "Sewer, Gas &
Electric."

Kevin R
D B Davis
2019-05-07 14:47:59 UTC
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Post by Kevrob
Post by D B Davis
Post by a***@gmail.com
In Dune, the Bene Gesserit is acting in secret to manipulate leaders and
create a genetic super being. In Foundation, IIRC, the second foundation
is working secretly to control history.
It seems people are always working behind the scenes in order to control
history. Any examples from more recent SF?
An excerpt from the back cover blurb of _The Hidden Truth_ (Schantz,
The conspiracy suppressed a crucial paper by Oliver Heaviside.
Three other scientists, Maxwell, Hertz, and FitzGerald, died -
or were killed - before they could complete their work.
Of course, there was Norman Spinrad's "Agent of Chaos."
https://aescifi.ca/the-truth-is-in-there/
Illuminatus! is probably the conspiracy-oriented novel/trilogy
that gave me the most chuckles.
I liked Matt Ruff's "Bad Monkeys," also "Sewer, Gas &
Electric."
You seem to take your conspiracy with a side order of humor.
_Illuminatus!_ ran out of steam for me after a few dozen pages and was
set aside for the time being. Perhaps on second read its British humor/
humour will finally connect and go down faster than a Bob Shaw.
The Schantz mentioned by me earlier is a real page turner for
readers with an appetite for hard Science Fiction with a side order of
villainous Fed conspiracy. The story occasionally uses libraries as a
setting, which always piques my interest.

The website at your link proclaims:

Never mind that a recent formula developed by an Oxford
University mathematician has essentially discredited
paranoia by revealing that any conspiracy worth concocting
would be "prone to unravelling."

Hmmm. Smirderle says "never mind" when he really means "mind." Perhaps
he's prone to a little unravelling himself.
Fortunately, Harvard's Puritans have my back on this one:

When Paranoia Makes Sense
https://hbr.org/2002/07/when-paranoia-makes-sense



Thank you,
--
Don
p***@gmail.com
2019-05-07 14:53:53 UTC
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Post by Kevrob
Post by D B Davis
Post by a***@gmail.com
In Dune, the Bene Gesserit is acting in secret to manipulate leaders and
create a genetic super being. In Foundation, IIRC, the second foundation
is working secretly to control history.
It seems people are always working behind the scenes in order to control
history. Any examples from more recent SF?
An excerpt from the back cover blurb of _The Hidden Truth_ (Schantz,
The conspiracy suppressed a crucial paper by Oliver Heaviside.
Three other scientists, Maxwell, Hertz, and FitzGerald, died -
or were killed - before they could complete their work.
Of course, there was Norman Spinrad's "Agent of Chaos."
https://aescifi.ca/the-truth-is-in-there/
Illuminatus! is probably the conspiracy-oriented novel/trilogy
that gave me the most chuckles.
I liked Matt Ruff's "Bad Monkeys," also "Sewer, Gas &
Electric."
You seem to take your conspiracy with a side order of humor.
_Illuminatus!_ ran out of steam for me after a few dozen pages and was
set aside for the time being. Perhaps on second read its British humor/
humour will finally connect and go down faster than a Bob Shaw.
Its one of my favorites, and led me into a great deal of reading (nearly all
skeptical) on conspiracy theories.

pt
D B Davis
2019-05-07 15:38:11 UTC
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Post by D B Davis
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In Dune, the Bene Gesserit is acting in secret to manipulate leaders and
create a genetic super being. In Foundation, IIRC, the second foundatio
n
Post by p***@gmail.com
Post by D B Davis
Post by Kevrob
Post by D B Davis
Post by a***@gmail.com
is working secretly to control history.
It seems people are always working behind the scenes in order to control
history. Any examples from more recent SF?
An excerpt from the back cover blurb of _The Hidden Truth_ (Schantz,
The conspiracy suppressed a crucial paper by Oliver Heaviside.
Three other scientists, Maxwell, Hertz, and FitzGerald, died -
or were killed - before they could complete their work.
Of course, there was Norman Spinrad's "Agent of Chaos."
https://aescifi.ca/the-truth-is-in-there/
Illuminatus! is probably the conspiracy-oriented novel/trilogy
that gave me the most chuckles.
I liked Matt Ruff's "Bad Monkeys," also "Sewer, Gas &
Electric."
You seem to take your conspiracy with a side order of humor.
_Illuminatus!_ ran out of steam for me after a few dozen pages and was
set aside for the time being. Perhaps on second read its British humor/
humour will finally connect and go down faster than a Bob Shaw.
Its one of my favorites, and led me into a great deal of reading (nearly all
skeptical) on conspiracy theories.
Careful there. These days a lot of conspiracy theory becomes conspiracy
fact before you know it. Take Maduro, for instance. Back in the day The
Gray Lady proclaimed:

Conspiracy Claims in Venezuela

Listening to embattled President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela
ramble for hours about an international right-wing conspiracy
to oust him, it's clear that he would use any fabricated pretext
to jail opposition leaders and crack down on dissent. ...

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/24/opinion/conspiracy-claims-in-venezuela.html

Fast forward to this weekend:

Speaking on ABC’s "This Week," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo refused
to comment on whether the administration would consult Congress before
invading Venezuela, saying "I don't want to speak to that."

Conspiracies aside, the most interesting political aspect to this
Venezuelan affair is that Trump may intend to give his neo-cons (Pompeo,
Bolton) enough rope to hoist themselves on their own petard.



Thank you,
--
Don
Mike Dworetsky
2019-05-07 07:57:52 UTC
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Post by a***@gmail.com
In Dune, the Bene Gesserit is acting in secret to manipulate leaders
and create a genetic super being. In Foundation, IIRC, the second
foundation is working secretly to control history.
It seems people are always working behind the scenes in order to
control history. Any examples from more recent SF?
Not exactly new, but I am re-reading Heinlein's "Revolt in 2100" (dating to
around 1940) and the entire point of the plot is that the protagonists have
a massive conspiracy to get rid of an odious religious tyrant and his entire
control system of the US politics of the story. Freemasonry figures
prominently as part of the protagonists' organisation.
Post by a***@gmail.com
Abhinav Lal
Writer & Investor
"If you are doing good,
why try to hide it?"
--
Mike Dworetsky

(Remove pants sp*mbl*ck to reply)
p***@gmail.com
2019-05-07 12:16:45 UTC
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Post by Mike Dworetsky
Post by a***@gmail.com
In Dune, the Bene Gesserit is acting in secret to manipulate leaders
and create a genetic super being. In Foundation, IIRC, the second
foundation is working secretly to control history.
It seems people are always working behind the scenes in order to
control history. Any examples from more recent SF?
Not exactly new, but I am re-reading Heinlein's "Revolt in 2100" (dating to
around 1940) and the entire point of the plot is that the protagonists have
a massive conspiracy to get rid of an odious religious tyrant and his entire
control system of the US politics of the story. Freemasonry figures
prominently as part of the protagonists' organisation.
It's not named as such, and (very) slightly altered. It's 'Freemasonry with
the serial numbers filed off'.

pt
Wolffan
2019-05-07 13:21:10 UTC
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Post by a***@gmail.com
In Dune, the Bene Gesserit is acting in secret to manipulate leaders and
create a genetic super being. In Foundation, IIRC, the second foundation is
working secretly to control history.
It seems people are always working behind the scenes in order to control
history. Any examples from more recent SF?
Abhinav Lal
Writer & Investor
"If you are doing good,
why try to hide it?"
David Weber likes conspiracies. There are multiple conspiracies by the (very)
bad guys in the Bahzell books, which tend to result inBahzell getting his
hands bloody. Again. The Honor Harrington books also have multiple
conspiracies. And counter-conspiracies. And counter-counter-conspiracies. You
need a scorecard to keep track, and I don’t care that much, so I’ve
stopped reading them. By this time there’s probably a fourth or a fifth
level of conspiracies; things got worse when Eric Flint started adding to the
conspiracy mix. The Safehold books are one giant massive conspiracy, this
time by the good guys. Lots of his other books have lots of conspiracies.

S. M. Stirling likes conspiracies almost as much as Weber. The Shadowspawn
books and the Black Chamber books are explicitly about massive conspiracies
(and counter-conspiracies) and there are conspiracies littered through most
of his other books.

David Drake has major conspiracies in lots of his books, too; the
conspirators tend to discover that the opposition will apply Gordian Knot
solution to them. Kind of like Bahzell, but bloodier.

Lots more examples where those came from.
a***@yahoo.com
2019-05-07 15:29:24 UTC
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Post by a***@gmail.com
In Dune, the Bene Gesserit is acting in secret to manipulate leaders and create a genetic super being. In Foundation, IIRC, the second foundation is working secretly to control history.
It seems people are always working behind the scenes in order to control history. Any examples from more recent SF?
Golden State by Ben Winters is a 1984ish novel in which special agents who have the ability to detect falsehoods arrest people who lie. Naturally, there are some very, very big lies that the state tries to keep secret....

Bad Monkeys by Matt Ruff which is a Philip Dick Homage more or less...
a***@gmail.com
2019-05-08 02:56:47 UTC
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Post by a***@gmail.com
In Dune, the Bene Gesserit is acting in secret to manipulate leaders and create a genetic super being. In Foundation, IIRC, the second foundation is working secretly to control history.
It seems people are always working behind the scenes in order to control history. Any examples from more recent SF?
Golden State by Ben Winters is a 1984ish novel in which special agents who have the ability to detect falsehoods arrest people who lie. Naturally, there are some very, very big lies that the state tries to keep secret....
Don't the special agents work for the government? Lying is human nature, while immoral, cannot always be considered a crime.

Modern lie detectors can be fooled. However if a person's head is inside a MRI machine, then if the person is making things up or telling the truth can be detected with some accuracy.

Would a working lie detector be a blessing or curse? It may help law enforcement, the legal system, and the authorities. But if ordinary people have access to it, it can reduce business and government corruption.

While people's innermost thoughts should remain a secret, a working lie detector should help make people more honest, and reveal all sorts of conspiracies, if it is accessible to anyone.

Abhinav Lal
Writer & Investor

"Politics is the art of the impossible"
Post by a***@yahoo.com
Bad Monkeys by Matt Ruff which is a Philip Dick Homage more or less...
a***@yahoo.com
2019-05-08 14:03:03 UTC
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Post by a***@yahoo.com
Post by a***@gmail.com
In Dune, the Bene Gesserit is acting in secret to manipulate leaders and create a genetic super being. In Foundation, IIRC, the second foundation is working secretly to control history.
It seems people are always working behind the scenes in order to control history. Any examples from more recent SF?
Golden State by Ben Winters is a 1984ish novel in which special agents who have the ability to detect falsehoods arrest people who lie. Naturally, there are some very, very big lies that the state tries to keep secret....
Don't the special agents work for the government? Lying is human nature, while immoral, cannot always be considered a crime.
In the state described in this novel, lying is considered a crime and the consequences are very, very serious. In some ways it might be a companion piece to James Morrow's City of Truth in which people are subject to a procedure which makes it impossible for them to lie.
Mike Van Pelt
2019-05-08 16:42:00 UTC
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Post by a***@gmail.com
Post by a***@gmail.com
Post by a***@yahoo.com
Golden State by Ben Winters is a 1984ish novel in which special
agents who have the ability to detect falsehoods arrest people
who lie. Naturally, there are some very, very big lies that the
state tries to keep secret....
Don't the special agents work for the government? Lying is human
nature, while immoral, cannot always be considered a crime.
In the state described in this novel, lying is considered a
crime and the consequences are very, very serious. In some ways
it might be a companion piece to James Morrow's City of Truth in
which people are subject to a procedure which makes it
impossible for them to lie.
cf. Spider Robinson's "Satan's Children", where a drug is found with
this effect. Hijinks ensue. And a long-term side effect is discovered.

(I'm embarrased at how long it took me to realize why Robinson
picked that title -- Old Scratch isn't mentioned in the story
at all, and there are no supernatural elements. Once I realized
why... "Doh! Of course!!")
--
Mike Van Pelt | "I don't advise it unless you're nuts."
mvp at calweb.com | -- Ray Wilkinson, after riding out Hurricane
KE6BVH | Ike on Surfside Beach in Galveston
J. Clarke
2019-05-08 22:42:33 UTC
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In Dune, the Bene Gesserit is acting in secret to manipulate leaders and create a genetic super being. In Foundation, IIRC, the second foundation is working secretly to control history.
It seems people are always working behind the scenes in order to control history. Any examples from more recent SF?
Golden State by Ben Winters is a 1984ish novel in which special agents who have the ability to detect falsehoods arrest people who lie. Naturally, there are some very, very big lies that the state tries to keep secret....
Don't the special agents work for the government? Lying is human nature, while immoral, cannot always be considered a crime.
Modern lie detectors can be fooled. However if a person's head is inside a MRI machine, then if the person is making things up or telling the truth can be detected with some accuracy.
According to companies that want to sell fMRI for that purpose. The
actual research is inconclusive.
Post by a***@gmail.com
Would a working lie detector be a blessing or curse? It may help law enforcement, the legal system, and the authorities. But if ordinary people have access to it, it can reduce business and government corruption.
While people's innermost thoughts should remain a secret, a working lie detector should help make people more honest, and reveal all sorts of conspiracies, if it is accessible to anyone.
First you have to get someone to sit still for the test. If he storms
out in a huff and calls his lawyer you're not getting anything.
Post by a***@gmail.com
Abhinav Lal
Writer & Investor
"Politics is the art of the impossible"
Post by a***@yahoo.com
Bad Monkeys by Matt Ruff which is a Philip Dick Homage more or less...
Robert Carnegie
2019-05-08 23:24:42 UTC
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Post by J. Clarke
Post by a***@gmail.com
Post by a***@yahoo.com
Post by a***@gmail.com
In Dune, the Bene Gesserit is acting in secret to manipulate leaders and create a genetic super being. In Foundation, IIRC, the second foundation is working secretly to control history.
It seems people are always working behind the scenes in order to control history. Any examples from more recent SF?
Golden State by Ben Winters is a 1984ish novel in which special agents who have the ability to detect falsehoods arrest people who lie. Naturally, there are some very, very big lies that the state tries to keep secret....
Don't the special agents work for the government? Lying is human nature, while immoral, cannot always be considered a crime.
Modern lie detectors can be fooled. However if a person's head is inside a MRI machine, then if the person is making things up or telling the truth can be detected with some accuracy.
According to companies that want to sell fMRI for that purpose. The
actual research is inconclusive.
Post by a***@gmail.com
Would a working lie detector be a blessing or curse? It may help law enforcement, the legal system, and the authorities. But if ordinary people have access to it, it can reduce business and government corruption.
While people's innermost thoughts should remain a secret, a working lie detector should help make people more honest, and reveal all sorts of conspiracies, if it is accessible to anyone.
First you have to get someone to sit still for the test. If he storms
out in a huff and calls his lawyer you're not getting anything.
<http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20181017>
recently* seen (*six months ago plus?!) comes to mind.
The concept is sound...

I've been watching Abhinav Lal call for public works
and scientific progress as means to increase general
human happiness, rather than... probably not.
I'm not seeing the criticism that I expected.

Donald Trump broadcasting his id on Twitter, and Boeing
selling a new super-efficient jet plane with just a bit
of an increased tendency to suddenly nosedive into the
ground or sea or wherever, also come to mind.
a***@gmail.com
2019-05-09 04:32:50 UTC
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Post by J. Clarke
Post by a***@gmail.com
Post by a***@yahoo.com
Post by a***@gmail.com
In Dune, the Bene Gesserit is acting in secret to manipulate leaders and create a genetic super being. In Foundation, IIRC, the second foundation is working secretly to control history.
It seems people are always working behind the scenes in order to control history. Any examples from more recent SF?
Golden State by Ben Winters is a 1984ish novel in which special agents who have the ability to detect falsehoods arrest people who lie. Naturally, there are some very, very big lies that the state tries to keep secret....
Don't the special agents work for the government? Lying is human nature, while immoral, cannot always be considered a crime.
Modern lie detectors can be fooled. However if a person's head is inside a MRI machine, then if the person is making things up or telling the truth can be detected with some accuracy.
According to companies that want to sell fMRI for that purpose. The
actual research is inconclusive.
I don't know how accurate a MRI machine is in detecting lies. But sooner or later, a technique which is mostly accurate in detecting lies will be discovered and used, if that hasn't happened already. Perhaps the authorities can hypnotize people, and force them to reveal their secrets. Nobody should be hypnotized without their consent, and perhaps lie detectors should only be used with consent.
Post by J. Clarke
Post by a***@gmail.com
Would a working lie detector be a blessing or curse? It may help law enforcement, the legal system, and the authorities. But if ordinary people have access to it, it can reduce business and government corruption.
While people's innermost thoughts should remain a secret, a working lie detector should help make people more honest, and reveal all sorts of conspiracies, if it is accessible to anyone.
First you have to get someone to sit still for the test. If he storms
out in a huff and calls his lawyer you're not getting anything.
A working lie detector could be small and portable and cheap, preferably and hopefully. There could be new laws about when a lie detector can be used, as when a person is testifying in court. As I implied earlier, perhaps a lie detector should only be used with consent.

Abhinav Lal
Writer & Investor

"Nothing can stop an idea,
who's time has come"
Post by J. Clarke
Post by a***@gmail.com
Abhinav Lal
Writer & Investor
"Politics is the art of the impossible"
Post by a***@yahoo.com
Bad Monkeys by Matt Ruff which is a Philip Dick Homage more or less...
J. Clarke
2019-05-09 10:50:41 UTC
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Post by a***@gmail.com
Post by J. Clarke
Post by a***@gmail.com
Post by a***@yahoo.com
Post by a***@gmail.com
In Dune, the Bene Gesserit is acting in secret to manipulate leaders and create a genetic super being. In Foundation, IIRC, the second foundation is working secretly to control history.
It seems people are always working behind the scenes in order to control history. Any examples from more recent SF?
Golden State by Ben Winters is a 1984ish novel in which special agents who have the ability to detect falsehoods arrest people who lie. Naturally, there are some very, very big lies that the state tries to keep secret....
Don't the special agents work for the government? Lying is human nature, while immoral, cannot always be considered a crime.
Modern lie detectors can be fooled. However if a person's head is inside a MRI machine, then if the person is making things up or telling the truth can be detected with some accuracy.
According to companies that want to sell fMRI for that purpose. The
actual research is inconclusive.
I don't know how accurate a MRI machine is in detecting lies.
Neither does anybody.
Post by a***@gmail.com
But sooner or later, a technique which is mostly accurate in detecting lies will be discovered and used, if that hasn't happened already.
So? Don't say that something in the real world works unless there is
solid evidence that it does work.
Post by a***@gmail.com
Perhaps the authorities can hypnotize people, and force them to reveal their secrets.
Perhaps. It's my understanding that hypnotizing someone who knows you
are about it and doesn't want it is difficult.
Post by a***@gmail.com
Nobody should be hypnotized without their consent, and perhaps lie detectors should only be used with consent.
Different issue from what types work. If you want to talk about lie
detectors in the abstract do that. If you want to talk about specific
kinds that exist in the real world that's a different discussion.
Post by a***@gmail.com
Post by J. Clarke
Post by a***@gmail.com
Would a working lie detector be a blessing or curse? It may help law enforcement, the legal system, and the authorities. But if ordinary people have access to it, it can reduce business and government corruption.
While people's innermost thoughts should remain a secret, a working lie detector should help make people more honest, and reveal all sorts of conspiracies, if it is accessible to anyone.
First you have to get someone to sit still for the test. If he storms
out in a huff and calls his lawyer you're not getting anything.
A working lie detector could be small and portable and cheap, preferably and hopefully.
None of the products that have been sold for that purpose meet that
description. Now you're talking fictional technology, not fMRI or
polygraph.
Post by a***@gmail.com
There could be new laws about when a lie detector can be used, as when a person is testifying in court.
There are such laws. In the US one cannot be used when a person is
testifying in court because they are known to be unreliable.
Post by a***@gmail.com
As I implied earlier, perhaps a lie detector should only be used with consent.
Then what good is it? Somebody with nothing to hide will consent,
somebody with something to hide won't.
a***@gmail.com
2019-05-09 11:51:01 UTC
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Post by J. Clarke
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Post by a***@yahoo.com
Post by a***@gmail.com
In Dune, the Bene Gesserit is acting in secret to manipulate leaders and create a genetic super being. In Foundation, IIRC, the second foundation is working secretly to control history.
It seems people are always working behind the scenes in order to control history. Any examples from more recent SF?
Golden State by Ben Winters is a 1984ish novel in which special agents who have the ability to detect falsehoods arrest people who lie. Naturally, there are some very, very big lies that the state tries to keep secret....
Don't the special agents work for the government? Lying is human nature, while immoral, cannot always be considered a crime.
Modern lie detectors can be fooled. However if a person's head is inside a MRI machine, then if the person is making things up or telling the truth can be detected with some accuracy.
According to companies that want to sell fMRI for that purpose. The
actual research is inconclusive.
I don't know how accurate a MRI machine is in detecting lies.
Neither does anybody.
Post by a***@gmail.com
But sooner or later, a technique which is mostly accurate in detecting lies will be discovered and used, if that hasn't happened already.
So? Don't say that something in the real world works unless there is
solid evidence that it does work.
I like to speculate about the future. Doesn't SF sometimes include speculation about the future. I was under the impression that it is alright to speculate in this newsgroup.
Post by J. Clarke
Post by a***@gmail.com
Perhaps the authorities can hypnotize people, and force them to reveal their secrets.
Perhaps. It's my understanding that hypnotizing someone who knows you
are about it and doesn't want it is difficult.
Post by a***@gmail.com
Nobody should be hypnotized without their consent, and perhaps lie detectors should only be used with consent.
Different issue from what types work. If you want to talk about lie
detectors in the abstract do that. If you want to talk about specific
kinds that exist in the real world that's a different discussion.
Post by a***@gmail.com
Post by J. Clarke
Post by a***@gmail.com
Would a working lie detector be a blessing or curse? It may help law enforcement, the legal system, and the authorities. But if ordinary people have access to it, it can reduce business and government corruption.
While people's innermost thoughts should remain a secret, a working lie detector should help make people more honest, and reveal all sorts of conspiracies, if it is accessible to anyone.
First you have to get someone to sit still for the test. If he storms
out in a huff and calls his lawyer you're not getting anything.
A working lie detector could be small and portable and cheap, preferably and hopefully.
None of the products that have been sold for that purpose meet that
description. Now you're talking fictional technology, not fMRI or
polygraph.
This is a group for discussing speculative fiction.
Post by J. Clarke
Post by a***@gmail.com
There could be new laws about when a lie detector can be used, as when a person is testifying in court.
There are such laws. In the US one cannot be used when a person is
testifying in court because they are known to be unreliable.
Post by a***@gmail.com
As I implied earlier, perhaps a lie detector should only be used with consent.
Then what good is it? Somebody with nothing to hide will consent,
somebody with something to hide won't.
Perhaps a lie detector can be used by a witness when he wants to convince everyone that he is telling the truth. Or when a defendant wants to convince others that he is innocent. A lie detector can be used by anyone to convince others of his honesty.

I don't know if reliable lie detectors are available, or when they will be available. It is alright to have the imagination to speculate in this newsgroup about law and science.

Abhinav Lal
Writer & Investor

"Imagination is more important than knowledge"
J. Clarke
2019-05-09 22:11:31 UTC
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In Dune, the Bene Gesserit is acting in secret to manipulate leaders and create a genetic super being. In Foundation, IIRC, the second foundation is working secretly to control history.
It seems people are always working behind the scenes in order to control history. Any examples from more recent SF?
Golden State by Ben Winters is a 1984ish novel in which special agents who have the ability to detect falsehoods arrest people who lie. Naturally, there are some very, very big lies that the state tries to keep secret....
Don't the special agents work for the government? Lying is human nature, while immoral, cannot always be considered a crime.
Modern lie detectors can be fooled. However if a person's head is inside a MRI machine, then if the person is making things up or telling the truth can be detected with some accuracy.
According to companies that want to sell fMRI for that purpose. The
actual research is inconclusive.
I don't know how accurate a MRI machine is in detecting lies.
Neither does anybody.
Post by a***@gmail.com
But sooner or later, a technique which is mostly accurate in detecting lies will be discovered and used, if that hasn't happened already.
So? Don't say that something in the real world works unless there is
solid evidence that it does work.
I like to speculate about the future. Doesn't SF sometimes include speculation about the future. I was under the impression that it is alright to speculate in this newsgroup.
Speculation about the future is fine. But there is no future in which
water is dry.
Post by a***@gmail.com
Post by J. Clarke
Post by a***@gmail.com
Perhaps the authorities can hypnotize people, and force them to reveal their secrets.
Perhaps. It's my understanding that hypnotizing someone who knows you
are about it and doesn't want it is difficult.
Post by a***@gmail.com
Nobody should be hypnotized without their consent, and perhaps lie detectors should only be used with consent.
Different issue from what types work. If you want to talk about lie
detectors in the abstract do that. If you want to talk about specific
kinds that exist in the real world that's a different discussion.
Post by a***@gmail.com
Post by J. Clarke
Post by a***@gmail.com
Would a working lie detector be a blessing or curse? It may help law enforcement, the legal system, and the authorities. But if ordinary people have access to it, it can reduce business and government corruption.
While people's innermost thoughts should remain a secret, a working lie detector should help make people more honest, and reveal all sorts of conspiracies, if it is accessible to anyone.
First you have to get someone to sit still for the test. If he storms
out in a huff and calls his lawyer you're not getting anything.
A working lie detector could be small and portable and cheap, preferably and hopefully.
None of the products that have been sold for that purpose meet that
description. Now you're talking fictional technology, not fMRI or
polygraph.
This is a group for discussing speculative fiction.
Which is fine, but you didn't start out with fictional technology, you
started out with false claims about real technology. This is a
problem that many people who set out to write science fiction have,
they think that becuase it's OK to discuss fictional technology it's
also OK to misrepresent real technology. While it can be ignored if
the story is good enough, such writing generally makes it difficult to
read through the facepalm. If the reader has to grit his teeth and
chant over and over again _must_suspend_disbelief_ then the writer
isn't doing his job.
Post by a***@gmail.com
Post by J. Clarke
Post by a***@gmail.com
There could be new laws about when a lie detector can be used, as when a person is testifying in court.
There are such laws. In the US one cannot be used when a person is
testifying in court because they are known to be unreliable.
Post by a***@gmail.com
As I implied earlier, perhaps a lie detector should only be used with consent.
Then what good is it? Somebody with nothing to hide will consent,
somebody with something to hide won't.
Perhaps a lie detector can be used by a witness when he wants to convince everyone that he is telling the truth. Or when a defendant wants to convince others that he is innocent. A lie detector can be used by anyone to convince others of his honesty.
I don't know if reliable lie detectors are available, or when they will be available. It is alright to have the imagination to speculate in this newsgroup about law and science.
Abhinav Lal
Writer & Investor
"Imagination is more important than knowledge"
a***@gmail.com
2019-05-09 22:33:22 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by J. Clarke
Post by a***@gmail.com
Post by J. Clarke
Post by a***@gmail.com
Post by J. Clarke
Post by a***@gmail.com
Post by a***@yahoo.com
Post by a***@gmail.com
In Dune, the Bene Gesserit is acting in secret to manipulate leaders and create a genetic super being. In Foundation, IIRC, the second foundation is working secretly to control history.
It seems people are always working behind the scenes in order to control history. Any examples from more recent SF?
Golden State by Ben Winters is a 1984ish novel in which special agents who have the ability to detect falsehoods arrest people who lie. Naturally, there are some very, very big lies that the state tries to keep secret....
Don't the special agents work for the government? Lying is human nature, while immoral, cannot always be considered a crime.
Modern lie detectors can be fooled. However if a person's head is inside a MRI machine, then if the person is making things up or telling the truth can be detected with some accuracy.
According to companies that want to sell fMRI for that purpose. The
actual research is inconclusive.
I don't know how accurate a MRI machine is in detecting lies.
Neither does anybody.
Post by a***@gmail.com
But sooner or later, a technique which is mostly accurate in detecting lies will be discovered and used, if that hasn't happened already.
So? Don't say that something in the real world works unless there is
solid evidence that it does work.
I like to speculate about the future. Doesn't SF sometimes include speculation about the future. I was under the impression that it is alright to speculate in this newsgroup.
Speculation about the future is fine. But there is no future in which
water is dry.
When I initially posted, I was under the impression that MRIs were better than polygraphs in differentiating between truth and falsehood. I have not yet seen any evidence otherwise.

Don't claim that reliable lie detectors are impossible in the future. Scientists who claimed certain things are impossible have sometimes been proven wrong.

Techniques for extracting truth may already exist. So hopefully truth can be extracted without torture, unless you are a sadist.
Post by J. Clarke
Post by a***@gmail.com
Post by J. Clarke
Post by a***@gmail.com
Perhaps the authorities can hypnotize people, and force them to reveal their secrets.
Perhaps. It's my understanding that hypnotizing someone who knows you
are about it and doesn't want it is difficult.
Post by a***@gmail.com
Nobody should be hypnotized without their consent, and perhaps lie detectors should only be used with consent.
Different issue from what types work. If you want to talk about lie
detectors in the abstract do that. If you want to talk about specific
kinds that exist in the real world that's a different discussion.
Post by a***@gmail.com
Post by J. Clarke
Post by a***@gmail.com
Would a working lie detector be a blessing or curse? It may help law enforcement, the legal system, and the authorities. But if ordinary people have access to it, it can reduce business and government corruption.
While people's innermost thoughts should remain a secret, a working lie detector should help make people more honest, and reveal all sorts of conspiracies, if it is accessible to anyone.
First you have to get someone to sit still for the test. If he storms
out in a huff and calls his lawyer you're not getting anything.
A working lie detector could be small and portable and cheap, preferably and hopefully.
None of the products that have been sold for that purpose meet that
description. Now you're talking fictional technology, not fMRI or
polygraph.
This is a group for discussing speculative fiction.
Which is fine, but you didn't start out with fictional technology, you
started out with false claims about real technology. This is a
problem that many people who set out to write science fiction have,
they think that becuase it's OK to discuss fictional technology it's
also OK to misrepresent real technology. While it can be ignored if
the story is good enough, such writing generally makes it difficult to
read through the facepalm. If the reader has to grit his teeth and
chant over and over again _must_suspend_disbelief_ then the writer
isn't doing his job.
I don't know exactly what technology exists today, because of government or military or other secrecy. It is entirely possible that reliable methods for extracting truth already exist.

Abhinav Lal
Writer & Investor

"The truth shall set you free"
Post by J. Clarke
Post by a***@gmail.com
Post by J. Clarke
Post by a***@gmail.com
There could be new laws about when a lie detector can be used, as when a person is testifying in court.
There are such laws. In the US one cannot be used when a person is
testifying in court because they are known to be unreliable.
Post by a***@gmail.com
As I implied earlier, perhaps a lie detector should only be used with consent.
Then what good is it? Somebody with nothing to hide will consent,
somebody with something to hide won't.
Perhaps a lie detector can be used by a witness when he wants to convince everyone that he is telling the truth. Or when a defendant wants to convince others that he is innocent. A lie detector can be used by anyone to convince others of his honesty.
I don't know if reliable lie detectors are available, or when they will be available. It is alright to have the imagination to speculate in this newsgroup about law and science.
Abhinav Lal
Writer & Investor
"Imagination is more important than knowledge"
David DeLaney
2019-05-11 08:35:38 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by a***@gmail.com
Techniques for extracting truth may already exist. So hopefully truth can be
extracted without torture, unless you are a sadist.
you are william moulton marston
and i claim a pair of fuzzy handcuffs

Dave, lavender-green ray
--
\/David DeLaney posting thru EarthLink - "It's not the pot that grows the flower
It's not the clock that slows the hour The definition's plain for anyone to see
Love is all it takes to make a family" - R&P. VISUALIZE HAPPYNET VRbeable<BLINK>
my gatekeeper archives are no longer accessible :( / I WUV you in all CAPS! --K.
Kevrob
2019-05-11 12:03:45 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by David DeLaney
Post by a***@gmail.com
Techniques for extracting truth may already exist. So hopefully truth can be
extracted without torture, unless you are a sadist.
you are william moulton marston
and i claim a pair of fuzzy handcuffs
Dave, lavender-green ray
Dilly-dilly? [Not a Bud Light reference.]

Kevin R
Dorothy J Heydt
2019-05-09 22:44:59 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by J. Clarke
Post by a***@gmail.com
This is a group for discussing speculative fiction.
Which is fine, but you didn't start out with fictional technology, you
started out with false claims about real technology. This is a
problem that many people who set out to write science fiction have,
they think that becuase it's OK to discuss fictional technology it's
also OK to misrepresent real technology. While it can be ignored if
the story is good enough, such writing generally makes it difficult to
read through the facepalm. If the reader has to grit his teeth and
chant over and over again _must_suspend_disbelief_ then the writer
isn't doing his job.
Marion Zimmer Bradley, paraphrasing J. R. R. Tolkien, used to say
that suspension of disbelief does not mean hanging it by the neck
till it is dead.

OTOH it is permissible in SF to invent a piece of technology that
doesn't [yet?] exist, and let the story play with what the
effects of its introduction would be.

So long as you don't overdo it.

Back in 1998, Dan Goodman reviewed Melissa Scott's _Conceiving
Post by J. Clarke
"....I find it useful to remember a concept proposed by Ellen
Kushner during a panel we were both on at Arisia. She argued
that every novel has a fixed 'strangeness budget,' a finite
number of new or unfamiliar things that readers can absorb and
understand without losing track of the story. Adding too many
ideas purely for the sake of novelty risks overspending that budget.
If there are too many other things going on, or if the 'what if'
itself is very strange, you should probably keep the secondary
ideas and features as recognizable as possible."
My take on this is that one piece of handwavium, one piece of
supertechnical tech whose abilities you don't bother to explain,
is something you can get away with, if you can get away with it
(e.g., your plot hangs on its effects on the world around it,
your characters' behaviors are affected by its existence, etc.).

(Note that "this is something you can get away with, if you can
get away with it" can be applied to other aspects of fiction,
including the writer's skill with words, the number of other
stories with something like the same topic that the reader may
already have read, the believability of the characters, the
necessary length for getting the idea across, und so weiter.)

Mr. Lal's perfect, inescapable lie detector sounds to me like
something he can't get away with.
--
Dorothy J. Heydt
Vallejo, California
djheydt at gmail dot com
www.kithrup.com/~djheydt/
Robert Carnegie
2019-05-09 23:15:23 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by J. Clarke
Post by a***@gmail.com
This is a group for discussing speculative fiction.
Which is fine, but you didn't start out with fictional technology, you
started out with false claims about real technology. This is a
problem that many people who set out to write science fiction have,
they think that becuase it's OK to discuss fictional technology it's
also OK to misrepresent real technology. While it can be ignored if
the story is good enough, such writing generally makes it difficult to
read through the facepalm. If the reader has to grit his teeth and
chant over and over again _must_suspend_disbelief_ then the writer
isn't doing his job.
Marion Zimmer Bradley, paraphrasing J. R. R. Tolkien, used to say
that suspension of disbelief does not mean hanging it by the neck
till it is dead.
OTOH it is permissible in SF to invent a piece of technology that
doesn't [yet?] exist, and let the story play with what the
effects of its introduction would be.
So long as you don't overdo it.
Back in 1998, Dan Goodman reviewed Melissa Scott's _Conceiving
Post by J. Clarke
"....I find it useful to remember a concept proposed by Ellen
Kushner during a panel we were both on at Arisia. She argued
that every novel has a fixed 'strangeness budget,' a finite
number of new or unfamiliar things that readers can absorb and
understand without losing track of the story. Adding too many
ideas purely for the sake of novelty risks overspending that budget.
If there are too many other things going on, or if the 'what if'
itself is very strange, you should probably keep the secondary
ideas and features as recognizable as possible."
My take on this is that one piece of handwavium, one piece of
supertechnical tech whose abilities you don't bother to explain,
is something you can get away with, if you can get away with it
(e.g., your plot hangs on its effects on the world around it,
your characters' behaviors are affected by its existence, etc.).
(Note that "this is something you can get away with, if you can
get away with it" can be applied to other aspects of fiction,
including the writer's skill with words, the number of other
stories with something like the same topic that the reader may
already have read, the believability of the characters, the
necessary length for getting the idea across, und so weiter.)
Mr. Lal's perfect, inescapable lie detector sounds to me like
something he can't get away with.
At a wild guesstimate, fifty percent of fictional
telepaths can detect any lie. So I don't call it
unacceptable in science fiction. Or, citizens could
have a gadget installed in the part of the brain
used for lying, that notifies the government by
cellphone.

Having said that, there is more to lying than saying
something that isn't true... or is there?
Ted Nolan <tednolan>
2019-05-09 23:57:31 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Robert Carnegie
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by J. Clarke
Post by a***@gmail.com
This is a group for discussing speculative fiction.
Which is fine, but you didn't start out with fictional technology, you
started out with false claims about real technology. This is a
problem that many people who set out to write science fiction have,
they think that becuase it's OK to discuss fictional technology it's
also OK to misrepresent real technology. While it can be ignored if
the story is good enough, such writing generally makes it difficult to
read through the facepalm. If the reader has to grit his teeth and
chant over and over again _must_suspend_disbelief_ then the writer
isn't doing his job.
Marion Zimmer Bradley, paraphrasing J. R. R. Tolkien, used to say
that suspension of disbelief does not mean hanging it by the neck
till it is dead.
OTOH it is permissible in SF to invent a piece of technology that
doesn't [yet?] exist, and let the story play with what the
effects of its introduction would be.
So long as you don't overdo it.
Back in 1998, Dan Goodman reviewed Melissa Scott's _Conceiving
Post by J. Clarke
"....I find it useful to remember a concept proposed by Ellen
Kushner during a panel we were both on at Arisia. She argued
that every novel has a fixed 'strangeness budget,' a finite
number of new or unfamiliar things that readers can absorb and
understand without losing track of the story. Adding too many
ideas purely for the sake of novelty risks overspending that budget.
If there are too many other things going on, or if the 'what if'
itself is very strange, you should probably keep the secondary
ideas and features as recognizable as possible."
My take on this is that one piece of handwavium, one piece of
supertechnical tech whose abilities you don't bother to explain,
is something you can get away with, if you can get away with it
(e.g., your plot hangs on its effects on the world around it,
your characters' behaviors are affected by its existence, etc.).
(Note that "this is something you can get away with, if you can
get away with it" can be applied to other aspects of fiction,
including the writer's skill with words, the number of other
stories with something like the same topic that the reader may
already have read, the believability of the characters, the
necessary length for getting the idea across, und so weiter.)
Mr. Lal's perfect, inescapable lie detector sounds to me like
something he can't get away with.
At a wild guesstimate, fifty percent of fictional
telepaths can detect any lie. So I don't call it
unacceptable in science fiction. Or, citizens could
have a gadget installed in the part of the brain
used for lying, that notifies the government by
cellphone.
Having said that, there is more to lying than saying
something that isn't true... or is there?
It's been a plot point in several stories. Generally as in how to mislead
without ever saying anything untrue.
--
------
columbiaclosings.com
What's not in Columbia anymore..
J. Clarke
2019-05-10 00:13:51 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Ted Nolan <tednolan>
Post by Robert Carnegie
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by J. Clarke
Post by a***@gmail.com
This is a group for discussing speculative fiction.
Which is fine, but you didn't start out with fictional technology, you
started out with false claims about real technology. This is a
problem that many people who set out to write science fiction have,
they think that becuase it's OK to discuss fictional technology it's
also OK to misrepresent real technology. While it can be ignored if
the story is good enough, such writing generally makes it difficult to
read through the facepalm. If the reader has to grit his teeth and
chant over and over again _must_suspend_disbelief_ then the writer
isn't doing his job.
Marion Zimmer Bradley, paraphrasing J. R. R. Tolkien, used to say
that suspension of disbelief does not mean hanging it by the neck
till it is dead.
OTOH it is permissible in SF to invent a piece of technology that
doesn't [yet?] exist, and let the story play with what the
effects of its introduction would be.
So long as you don't overdo it.
Back in 1998, Dan Goodman reviewed Melissa Scott's _Conceiving
Post by J. Clarke
"....I find it useful to remember a concept proposed by Ellen
Kushner during a panel we were both on at Arisia. She argued
that every novel has a fixed 'strangeness budget,' a finite
number of new or unfamiliar things that readers can absorb and
understand without losing track of the story. Adding too many
ideas purely for the sake of novelty risks overspending that budget.
If there are too many other things going on, or if the 'what if'
itself is very strange, you should probably keep the secondary
ideas and features as recognizable as possible."
My take on this is that one piece of handwavium, one piece of
supertechnical tech whose abilities you don't bother to explain,
is something you can get away with, if you can get away with it
(e.g., your plot hangs on its effects on the world around it,
your characters' behaviors are affected by its existence, etc.).
(Note that "this is something you can get away with, if you can
get away with it" can be applied to other aspects of fiction,
including the writer's skill with words, the number of other
stories with something like the same topic that the reader may
already have read, the believability of the characters, the
necessary length for getting the idea across, und so weiter.)
Mr. Lal's perfect, inescapable lie detector sounds to me like
something he can't get away with.
At a wild guesstimate, fifty percent of fictional
telepaths can detect any lie. So I don't call it
unacceptable in science fiction. Or, citizens could
have a gadget installed in the part of the brain
used for lying, that notifies the government by
cellphone.
Having said that, there is more to lying than saying
something that isn't true... or is there?
It's been a plot point in several stories. Generally as in how to mislead
without ever saying anything untrue.
I don't recall whether it was Heilein or Twain or probably neither,
but someone wrote that there were three ways to lie. One is to tell
none of the truth. Another is to tell part of the truth. But the
best way is to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
truth in such a way that nobody believes you.
Dorothy J Heydt
2019-05-10 00:42:33 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by J. Clarke
Post by Ted Nolan <tednolan>
Post by Robert Carnegie
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by J. Clarke
Post by a***@gmail.com
This is a group for discussing speculative fiction.
Which is fine, but you didn't start out with fictional technology, you
started out with false claims about real technology. This is a
problem that many people who set out to write science fiction have,
they think that becuase it's OK to discuss fictional technology it's
also OK to misrepresent real technology. While it can be ignored if
the story is good enough, such writing generally makes it difficult to
read through the facepalm. If the reader has to grit his teeth and
chant over and over again _must_suspend_disbelief_ then the writer
isn't doing his job.
Marion Zimmer Bradley, paraphrasing J. R. R. Tolkien, used to say
that suspension of disbelief does not mean hanging it by the neck
till it is dead.
OTOH it is permissible in SF to invent a piece of technology that
doesn't [yet?] exist, and let the story play with what the
effects of its introduction would be.
So long as you don't overdo it.
Back in 1998, Dan Goodman reviewed Melissa Scott's _Conceiving
Post by J. Clarke
"....I find it useful to remember a concept proposed by Ellen
Kushner during a panel we were both on at Arisia. She argued
that every novel has a fixed 'strangeness budget,' a finite
number of new or unfamiliar things that readers can absorb and
understand without losing track of the story. Adding too many
ideas purely for the sake of novelty risks overspending that budget.
If there are too many other things going on, or if the 'what if'
itself is very strange, you should probably keep the secondary
ideas and features as recognizable as possible."
My take on this is that one piece of handwavium, one piece of
supertechnical tech whose abilities you don't bother to explain,
is something you can get away with, if you can get away with it
(e.g., your plot hangs on its effects on the world around it,
your characters' behaviors are affected by its existence, etc.).
(Note that "this is something you can get away with, if you can
get away with it" can be applied to other aspects of fiction,
including the writer's skill with words, the number of other
stories with something like the same topic that the reader may
already have read, the believability of the characters, the
necessary length for getting the idea across, und so weiter.)
Mr. Lal's perfect, inescapable lie detector sounds to me like
something he can't get away with.
At a wild guesstimate, fifty percent of fictional
telepaths can detect any lie. So I don't call it
unacceptable in science fiction. Or, citizens could
have a gadget installed in the part of the brain
used for lying, that notifies the government by
cellphone.
Having said that, there is more to lying than saying
something that isn't true... or is there?
It's been a plot point in several stories. Generally as in how to mislead
without ever saying anything untrue.
I don't recall whether it was Heilein or Twain or probably neither,
but someone wrote that there were three ways to lie. One is to tell
none of the truth. Another is to tell part of the truth. But the
best way is to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
truth in such a way that nobody believes you.
Ah, that's a skill worth its weight in Brooklyn Bridges.

Twain made famous in the US the quotation from Benjamin Disraeli,
"There are lies, damned lies, and statistics," but that's not
quite the same thing.

I once worked for an engineer who said, "There are liars, damned
liars, and people who use log/log graph paper." (This was back
in the sixties when engineers still used graph paper, rather than
computers.)
--
Dorothy J. Heydt
Vallejo, California
djheydt at gmail dot com
www.kithrup.com/~djheydt/
J. Clarke
2019-05-10 11:34:22 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by J. Clarke
Post by Ted Nolan <tednolan>
Post by Robert Carnegie
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by J. Clarke
Post by a***@gmail.com
This is a group for discussing speculative fiction.
Which is fine, but you didn't start out with fictional technology, you
started out with false claims about real technology. This is a
problem that many people who set out to write science fiction have,
they think that becuase it's OK to discuss fictional technology it's
also OK to misrepresent real technology. While it can be ignored if
the story is good enough, such writing generally makes it difficult to
read through the facepalm. If the reader has to grit his teeth and
chant over and over again _must_suspend_disbelief_ then the writer
isn't doing his job.
Marion Zimmer Bradley, paraphrasing J. R. R. Tolkien, used to say
that suspension of disbelief does not mean hanging it by the neck
till it is dead.
OTOH it is permissible in SF to invent a piece of technology that
doesn't [yet?] exist, and let the story play with what the
effects of its introduction would be.
So long as you don't overdo it.
Back in 1998, Dan Goodman reviewed Melissa Scott's _Conceiving
Post by J. Clarke
"....I find it useful to remember a concept proposed by Ellen
Kushner during a panel we were both on at Arisia. She argued
that every novel has a fixed 'strangeness budget,' a finite
number of new or unfamiliar things that readers can absorb and
understand without losing track of the story. Adding too many
ideas purely for the sake of novelty risks overspending that budget.
If there are too many other things going on, or if the 'what if'
itself is very strange, you should probably keep the secondary
ideas and features as recognizable as possible."
My take on this is that one piece of handwavium, one piece of
supertechnical tech whose abilities you don't bother to explain,
is something you can get away with, if you can get away with it
(e.g., your plot hangs on its effects on the world around it,
your characters' behaviors are affected by its existence, etc.).
(Note that "this is something you can get away with, if you can
get away with it" can be applied to other aspects of fiction,
including the writer's skill with words, the number of other
stories with something like the same topic that the reader may
already have read, the believability of the characters, the
necessary length for getting the idea across, und so weiter.)
Mr. Lal's perfect, inescapable lie detector sounds to me like
something he can't get away with.
At a wild guesstimate, fifty percent of fictional
telepaths can detect any lie. So I don't call it
unacceptable in science fiction. Or, citizens could
have a gadget installed in the part of the brain
used for lying, that notifies the government by
cellphone.
Having said that, there is more to lying than saying
something that isn't true... or is there?
It's been a plot point in several stories. Generally as in how to mislead
without ever saying anything untrue.
I don't recall whether it was Heilein or Twain or probably neither,
but someone wrote that there were three ways to lie. One is to tell
none of the truth. Another is to tell part of the truth. But the
best way is to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
truth in such a way that nobody believes you.
Ah, that's a skill worth its weight in Brooklyn Bridges.
Don't know if you've read the Millennium trilogy (starts with The Girl
With The Dragon Tattoo). In it Lisbeth Salander has that talent and
comes to grief as a result (not a spoiler--it's kind of the setup for
the whole trilogy).
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Twain made famous in the US the quotation from Benjamin Disraeli,
"There are lies, damned lies, and statistics," but that's not
quite the same thing.
I once worked for an engineer who said, "There are liars, damned
liars, and people who use log/log graph paper." (This was back
in the sixties when engineers still used graph paper, rather than
computers.)
Michael R P Dolbear
2019-05-10 21:03:54 UTC
Reply
Permalink
"Dorothy J Heydt" wrote

Twain made famous in the US the quotation from Benjamin Disraeli,
"There are lies, damned lies, and statistics," but that's not
quite the same thing.

A (probably false) attribution to Benjamin Disraeli, Earl of Beaconsfield
(1804–1881) has been common at least since 1895.

https://www.york.ac.uk/depts/maths/histstat/lies.htm

Whereupon counsel on the other side was heard to explain to his client that
there were three sorts of liars, the common or garden liar ... the damnable
liar who is fortunately rather a rara avis in decent society, and lastly the
expert, ...



-- --
Mike D
D B Davis
2019-05-10 01:24:08 UTC
Reply
Permalink
J. Clarke <***@gmail.com> wrote:

<snip>
Post by J. Clarke
I don't recall whether it was Heilein or Twain or probably neither,
but someone wrote that there were three ways to lie. One is to tell
none of the truth. Another is to tell part of the truth. But the
best way is to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
truth in such a way that nobody believes you.
The best liars honestly believe that they're telling the truth.

spoiler space


"Impostor" (PKD)

...

"I am Olham," he said again. "I know I am. But I can't prove it."

"The robot," Peters said, "would be unaware that he was not the
real Spence Olham. He would become Olham in mind as well as body.
He was given an artificial memory system, false recall. He would
look like him, have his memories, his thoughts and interests,
perform his job. "But there would be one difference. Inside the
robot is a U-Bomb, ready to explode at the trigger phrase."

...

https://mypages.valdosta.edu/asantas/Texts/Impostor.pdf



Thank you,
--
Don
Dorothy J Heydt
2019-05-10 00:27:18 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Ted Nolan <tednolan>
Post by Robert Carnegie
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by J. Clarke
Post by a***@gmail.com
This is a group for discussing speculative fiction.
Which is fine, but you didn't start out with fictional technology, you
started out with false claims about real technology. This is a
problem that many people who set out to write science fiction have,
they think that becuase it's OK to discuss fictional technology it's
also OK to misrepresent real technology. While it can be ignored if
the story is good enough, such writing generally makes it difficult to
read through the facepalm. If the reader has to grit his teeth and
chant over and over again _must_suspend_disbelief_ then the writer
isn't doing his job.
Marion Zimmer Bradley, paraphrasing J. R. R. Tolkien, used to say
that suspension of disbelief does not mean hanging it by the neck
till it is dead.
OTOH it is permissible in SF to invent a piece of technology that
doesn't [yet?] exist, and let the story play with what the
effects of its introduction would be.
So long as you don't overdo it.
Back in 1998, Dan Goodman reviewed Melissa Scott's _Conceiving
Post by J. Clarke
"....I find it useful to remember a concept proposed by Ellen
Kushner during a panel we were both on at Arisia. She argued
that every novel has a fixed 'strangeness budget,' a finite
number of new or unfamiliar things that readers can absorb and
understand without losing track of the story. Adding too many
ideas purely for the sake of novelty risks overspending that budget.
If there are too many other things going on, or if the 'what if'
itself is very strange, you should probably keep the secondary
ideas and features as recognizable as possible."
My take on this is that one piece of handwavium, one piece of
supertechnical tech whose abilities you don't bother to explain,
is something you can get away with, if you can get away with it
(e.g., your plot hangs on its effects on the world around it,
your characters' behaviors are affected by its existence, etc.).
(Note that "this is something you can get away with, if you can
get away with it" can be applied to other aspects of fiction,
including the writer's skill with words, the number of other
stories with something like the same topic that the reader may
already have read, the believability of the characters, the
necessary length for getting the idea across, und so weiter.)
Mr. Lal's perfect, inescapable lie detector sounds to me like
something he can't get away with.
At a wild guesstimate, fifty percent of fictional
telepaths can detect any lie. So I don't call it
unacceptable in science fiction. Or, citizens could
have a gadget installed in the part of the brain
used for lying, that notifies the government by
cellphone.
Having said that, there is more to lying than saying
something that isn't true... or is there?
It's been a plot point in several stories. Generally as in how to mislead
without ever saying anything untrue.
Not SF, but consider Agatha Christie's _The Murder of Roger
Ackroyd,_ in which


SPOILER follows, even though the book was published in the
1930s...







you have been warned ....














The first-person narrator who acts as Poirot's Watson is himself
the murderer, and describes the case (including his own actions)
so cleverly that the reader doesn't figure it out till sometime
after Poirot does.

You would have to read it to make your own decision as to whether
the guy is lying, and I don't ask you to do so.

The entire mystery-reading public shouted "CHEATING!" but the
technique has been used since ... not always the murderer
concealing his deeds, but somebody carefully omitting part of the
story so deftly that the reader doesn't notice.
--
Dorothy J. Heydt
Vallejo, California
djheydt at gmail dot com
www.kithrup.com/~djheydt/
David DeLaney
2019-05-11 08:41:13 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Ted Nolan <tednolan>
It's been a plot point in several stories. Generally as in how to mislead
without ever saying anything untrue.
"This morning I saw a letter, and the address on it was Four. The letter had
feet, and the feet had shoes on them. It was delivered by missile, but it
walked all the way. Though it is Four for four, it's triple treble trouble[.]"

Dave, what i tell you three times is true
--
\/David DeLaney posting thru EarthLink - "It's not the pot that grows the flower
It's not the clock that slows the hour The definition's plain for anyone to see
Love is all it takes to make a family" - R&P. VISUALIZE HAPPYNET VRbeable<BLINK>
my gatekeeper archives are no longer accessible :( / I WUV you in all CAPS! --K.
Dorothy J Heydt
2019-05-10 00:23:12 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Robert Carnegie
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by J. Clarke
Post by a***@gmail.com
This is a group for discussing speculative fiction.
Which is fine, but you didn't start out with fictional technology, you
started out with false claims about real technology. This is a
problem that many people who set out to write science fiction have,
they think that becuase it's OK to discuss fictional technology it's
also OK to misrepresent real technology. While it can be ignored if
the story is good enough, such writing generally makes it difficult to
read through the facepalm. If the reader has to grit his teeth and
chant over and over again _must_suspend_disbelief_ then the writer
isn't doing his job.
Marion Zimmer Bradley, paraphrasing J. R. R. Tolkien, used to say
that suspension of disbelief does not mean hanging it by the neck
till it is dead.
OTOH it is permissible in SF to invent a piece of technology that
doesn't [yet?] exist, and let the story play with what the
effects of its introduction would be.
So long as you don't overdo it.
Back in 1998, Dan Goodman reviewed Melissa Scott's _Conceiving
Post by J. Clarke
"....I find it useful to remember a concept proposed by Ellen
Kushner during a panel we were both on at Arisia. She argued
that every novel has a fixed 'strangeness budget,' a finite
number of new or unfamiliar things that readers can absorb and
understand without losing track of the story. Adding too many
ideas purely for the sake of novelty risks overspending that budget.
If there are too many other things going on, or if the 'what if'
itself is very strange, you should probably keep the secondary
ideas and features as recognizable as possible."
My take on this is that one piece of handwavium, one piece of
supertechnical tech whose abilities you don't bother to explain,
is something you can get away with, if you can get away with it
(e.g., your plot hangs on its effects on the world around it,
your characters' behaviors are affected by its existence, etc.).
(Note that "this is something you can get away with, if you can
get away with it" can be applied to other aspects of fiction,
including the writer's skill with words, the number of other
stories with something like the same topic that the reader may
already have read, the believability of the characters, the
necessary length for getting the idea across, und so weiter.)
Mr. Lal's perfect, inescapable lie detector sounds to me like
something he can't get away with.
At a wild guesstimate, fifty percent of fictional
telepaths can detect any lie.
Since we don't have any telepaths in this version of the
universe, there is no evidence to disprove what you say.
Post by Robert Carnegie
So I don't call it
unacceptable in science fiction. Or, citizens could
have a gadget installed in the part of the brain
used for lying, that notifies the government by
cellphone.
ASSUMING that there is one specific part of the brain that is
used for lying and for no other function. My willing suspension
of disbelief just jumped off the cliff: not for the telepathy
(which is ok SF if you treat it as if it followed its own rules
and had its own limitations), but assuming that there is one bit
of the brain that's used for lying (note, many other primates lie
to each other, usually to get more than their share of food) does
not match what patient researchers have already discovered about
the brain.
Post by Robert Carnegie
Having said that, there is more to lying than saying
something that isn't true... or is there?
You don't even have to speak in order to lie: you can act as if
you have a piece of food in your hand ... or as if you don't.
--
Dorothy J. Heydt
Vallejo, California
djheydt at gmail dot com
www.kithrup.com/~djheydt/
a***@gmail.com
2019-05-10 00:16:18 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by J. Clarke
Post by a***@gmail.com
This is a group for discussing speculative fiction.
Which is fine, but you didn't start out with fictional technology, you
started out with false claims about real technology. This is a
problem that many people who set out to write science fiction have,
they think that becuase it's OK to discuss fictional technology it's
also OK to misrepresent real technology. While it can be ignored if
the story is good enough, such writing generally makes it difficult to
read through the facepalm. If the reader has to grit his teeth and
chant over and over again _must_suspend_disbelief_ then the writer
isn't doing his job.
Marion Zimmer Bradley, paraphrasing J. R. R. Tolkien, used to say
that suspension of disbelief does not mean hanging it by the neck
till it is dead.
OTOH it is permissible in SF to invent a piece of technology that
doesn't [yet?] exist, and let the story play with what the
effects of its introduction would be.
So long as you don't overdo it.
Back in 1998, Dan Goodman reviewed Melissa Scott's _Conceiving
Post by J. Clarke
"....I find it useful to remember a concept proposed by Ellen
Kushner during a panel we were both on at Arisia. She argued
that every novel has a fixed 'strangeness budget,' a finite
number of new or unfamiliar things that readers can absorb and
understand without losing track of the story. Adding too many
ideas purely for the sake of novelty risks overspending that budget.
If there are too many other things going on, or if the 'what if'
itself is very strange, you should probably keep the secondary
ideas and features as recognizable as possible."
My take on this is that one piece of handwavium, one piece of
supertechnical tech whose abilities you don't bother to explain,
is something you can get away with, if you can get away with it
(e.g., your plot hangs on its effects on the world around it,
your characters' behaviors are affected by its existence, etc.).
(Note that "this is something you can get away with, if you can
get away with it" can be applied to other aspects of fiction,
including the writer's skill with words, the number of other
stories with something like the same topic that the reader may
already have read, the believability of the characters, the
necessary length for getting the idea across, und so weiter.)
Mr. Lal's perfect, inescapable lie detector sounds to me like
something he can't get away with.
I don't recall claiming a lie detector has to be perfect; I recall using the term "mostly accurate". If we can have reliable interstellar travel, then why not reliable lie detectors, in the future. It is assumed that nothing real is perfect.

As I explained before, there may be techniques for extracting truth that already exist, like drugs or hypnotherapy.

Some people are afraid of the truth and want to keep their secrets.

Abhinav Lal
Writer & Investor

"Nothing can stop an idea,
who's time has come"
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
--
Dorothy J. Heydt
Vallejo, California
djheydt at gmail dot com
www.kithrup.com/~djheydt/
Lynn McGuire
2019-05-10 00:29:49 UTC
Reply
Permalink
On 5/9/2019 7:16 PM, ***@gmail.com wrote:
...
Post by a***@gmail.com
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Mr. Lal's perfect, inescapable lie detector sounds to me like
something he can't get away with.
I don't recall claiming a lie detector has to be perfect; I recall using the term "mostly accurate". If we can have reliable interstellar travel, then why not reliable lie detectors, in the future. It is assumed that nothing real is perfect.
As I explained before, there may be techniques for extracting truth that already exist, like drugs or hypnotherapy.
Some people are afraid of the truth and want to keep their secrets.
Abhinav Lal
Writer & Investor
David Weber makes use of an infallible Imperial Lie Detector in order to
execute the members of a conspiracy to kill the Emperor and his family:
https://www.amazon.com/Heirs-Empire-Dahak-David-Weber/dp/0671877070/

Lynn
J. Clarke
2019-05-10 00:33:52 UTC
Reply
Permalink
On Thu, 9 May 2019 19:29:49 -0500, Lynn McGuire
Post by Lynn McGuire
...
Post by a***@gmail.com
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Mr. Lal's perfect, inescapable lie detector sounds to me like
something he can't get away with.
I don't recall claiming a lie detector has to be perfect; I recall using the term "mostly accurate". If we can have reliable interstellar travel, then why not reliable lie detectors, in the future. It is assumed that nothing real is perfect.
As I explained before, there may be techniques for extracting truth that already exist, like drugs or hypnotherapy.
Some people are afraid of the truth and want to keep their secrets.
Abhinav Lal
Writer & Investor
David Weber makes use of an infallible Imperial Lie Detector in order to
https://www.amazon.com/Heirs-Empire-Dahak-David-Weber/dp/0671877070/
And while Nimitz is capable of lying himself, he's pretty reliable at
that task.
Lynn McGuire
2019-05-10 00:41:01 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by J. Clarke
On Thu, 9 May 2019 19:29:49 -0500, Lynn McGuire
Post by Lynn McGuire
...
Post by a***@gmail.com
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Mr. Lal's perfect, inescapable lie detector sounds to me like
something he can't get away with.
I don't recall claiming a lie detector has to be perfect; I recall using the term "mostly accurate". If we can have reliable interstellar travel, then why not reliable lie detectors, in the future. It is assumed that nothing real is perfect.
As I explained before, there may be techniques for extracting truth that already exist, like drugs or hypnotherapy.
Some people are afraid of the truth and want to keep their secrets.
Abhinav Lal
Writer & Investor
David Weber makes use of an infallible Imperial Lie Detector in order to
https://www.amazon.com/Heirs-Empire-Dahak-David-Weber/dp/0671877070/
And while Nimitz is capable of lying himself, he's pretty reliable at
that task.
That is the Honor Harrington series. _Heirs Of Empire_ is the Dahak
series. Gets confusing with David Weber, he likes his series.

Lynn
a***@yahoo.com
2019-05-10 00:40:07 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by J. Clarke
Speculation about the future is fine. But there is no future in which
water is dry.
Have you read this?
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/398889.Dry_Water

But going back to the novel, Golden State the premise of the novel is that their are people who have a more or less psychic ability to detect lies.
Thomas Koenig
2019-05-11 15:26:29 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by J. Clarke
Speculation about the future is fine. But there is no future in which
water is dry.
In a few hundred million years, the Sun will be so hot that no
liquid water will remain on Earth, it will be all steam.

Definitely a setting for SF. Or take Niven's "One Face".
J. Clarke
2019-05-11 16:48:59 UTC
Reply
Permalink
On Sat, 11 May 2019 15:26:29 -0000 (UTC), Thomas Koenig
Post by Thomas Koenig
Post by J. Clarke
Speculation about the future is fine. But there is no future in which
water is dry.
In a few hundred million years, the Sun will be so hot that no
liquid water will remain on Earth, it will be all steam.
<facepalm>
Post by Thomas Koenig
Definitely a setting for SF. Or take Niven's "One Face".
Now give us one where the surface tension of liquid water is so high
that it beads up and refuses to flow onto any substance.
Dorothy J Heydt
2019-05-11 17:54:17 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by J. Clarke
On Sat, 11 May 2019 15:26:29 -0000 (UTC), Thomas Koenig
Post by Thomas Koenig
Post by J. Clarke
Speculation about the future is fine. But there is no future in which
water is dry.
In a few hundred million years, the Sun will be so hot that no
liquid water will remain on Earth, it will be all steam.
<facepalm>
Post by Thomas Koenig
Definitely a setting for SF. Or take Niven's "One Face".
Now give us one where the surface tension of liquid water is so high
that it beads up and refuses to flow onto any substance.
Can't provide you with one; I am not a physicist, nor do I play
one on TV. There's always Blish's "Surface Tension," which only
works if you're microscopic.
--
Dorothy J. Heydt
Vallejo, California
djheydt at gmail dot com
www.kithrup.com/~djheydt/
Dorothy J Heydt
2019-05-11 17:53:09 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Thomas Koenig
Post by J. Clarke
Speculation about the future is fine. But there is no future in which
water is dry.
In a few hundred million years, the Sun will be so hot that no
liquid water will remain on Earth, it will be all steam.
Definitely a setting for SF. Or take Niven's "One Face".
Or the Poul Anderson story, whose title escapes me, but
long-traveled Terrans return home and find that it's switched
back to a reducing atmosphere and is inhabited by sentient
robots. And they go away again, saying, "It's not ours any
more."

I have a painting by Hal Clement illustrating it, somewhere in
the house; it got packed eleven years ago and moved to Vallejo
with us, and I can't find it at present.
--
Dorothy J. Heydt
Vallejo, California
djheydt at gmail dot com
www.kithrup.com/~djheydt/
a***@msn.com
2019-05-12 18:52:08 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Or the Poul Anderson story, whose title escapes me, but
long-traveled Terrans return home and find that it's switched
back to a reducing atmosphere and is inhabited by sentient
robots. And they go away again, saying, "It's not ours any
more."
Epilogue is the title of this story https://polaris93.livejournal.com/2745134.html
Dorothy J Heydt
2019-05-12 20:29:37 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by a***@msn.com
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Or the Poul Anderson story, whose title escapes me, but
long-traveled Terrans return home and find that it's switched
back to a reducing atmosphere and is inhabited by sentient
robots. And they go away again, saying, "It's not ours any
more."
Epilogue is the title of this story
https://polaris93.livejournal.com/2745134.html
Thank you.
--
Dorothy J. Heydt
Vallejo, California
djheydt at gmail dot com
www.kithrup.com/~djheydt/
Thomas Koenig
2019-05-13 07:38:45 UTC
Reply
Permalink
"The Three-Body Problem" is probably the mother of all conspiracy
novels. What motivates the (human) conspirators is beyond me,
though.
m***@sky.com
2019-05-13 18:24:03 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Thomas Koenig
"The Three-Body Problem" is probably the mother of all conspiracy
novels. What motivates the (human) conspirators is beyond me,
though.
I always assumed that they were really annoyed by the cultural revolution, and just wanted to strike back at the rest of humanity by any available means. IIRC there's a David Drake short story about natives in the Belgian Congo who attempt to raise Cthulhu for a similar reason.
Dorothy J Heydt
2019-05-13 19:30:37 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by m***@sky.com
Post by Thomas Koenig
"The Three-Body Problem" is probably the mother of all conspiracy
novels. What motivates the (human) conspirators is beyond me,
though.
I always assumed that they were really annoyed by the cultural
revolution, and just wanted to strike back at the rest of humanity by
any available means. IIRC there's a David Drake short story about
natives in the Belgian Congo who attempt to raise Cthulhu for a similar
reason.
Oh, dear. Be careful what you wish for ....
--
Dorothy J. Heydt
Vallejo, California
djheydt at gmail dot com
www.kithrup.com/~djheydt/
Robert Carnegie
2019-05-11 20:27:24 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Thomas Koenig
Post by J. Clarke
Speculation about the future is fine. But there is no future in which
water is dry.
In a few hundred million years, the Sun will be so hot that no
liquid water will remain on Earth, it will be all steam.
Definitely a setting for SF. Or take Niven's "One Face".
But will people be saying, "It's a dry heat"?
Robert Carnegie
2019-05-07 19:47:32 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by a***@gmail.com
In Dune, the Bene Gesserit is acting in secret to manipulate leaders and create a genetic super being. In Foundation, IIRC, the second foundation is working secretly to control history.
It seems people are always working behind the scenes in order to control history. Any examples from more recent SF?
Abhinav Lal
"The Last Fleet" space-war novel series by
"Jack Campbell", and similar-named offshoots,
have quite a bit of conspiracy. It might
spoil to give too many details of that but...
It starts after 100 years of war between the
Alliance (free) and the Syndicated Worlds
(commercial tyranny), when the Alliance gets
access to teleport their fleet to the heart
of Syndic space... where the Syndics are ready;
it's a trap. There follows lots of spaceships
shooting at each other - but quite a lot of
political conspiracy as well. And it turns out
there are more than two sides in the war.
Ted Nolan <tednolan>
2019-05-07 19:53:51 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by a***@gmail.com
Post by a***@gmail.com
In Dune, the Bene Gesserit is acting in secret to manipulate leaders
and create a genetic super being. In Foundation, IIRC, the second
foundation is working secretly to control history.
Post by a***@gmail.com
It seems people are always working behind the scenes in order to
control history. Any examples from more recent SF?
Post by a***@gmail.com
Abhinav Lal
"The Last Fleet" space-war novel series by
"Jack Campbell", and similar-named offshoots,
have quite a bit of conspiracy. It might
spoil to give too many details of that but...
It starts after 100 years of war between the
Alliance (free) and the Syndicated Worlds
(commercial tyranny), when the Alliance gets
access to teleport their fleet to the heart
of Syndic space... where the Syndics are ready;
it's a trap. There follows lots of spaceships
shooting at each other - but quite a lot of
political conspiracy as well. And it turns out
there are more than two sides in the war.
My favorite bit of that is the last of:



(SPOILER)


















The hero is determined to be a non-political officer and loyal to the
legitimate government. Part of his fleet want to kill him as a traitor,
another part want him to conspire to bring the government down and
part of it is convinced he has already executed his conspiracy and now
controls the government!
--
------
columbiaclosings.com
What's not in Columbia anymore..
Lynn McGuire
2019-05-08 04:05:56 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by a***@gmail.com
In Dune, the Bene Gesserit is acting in secret to manipulate leaders and create a genetic super being. In Foundation, IIRC, the second foundation is working secretly to control history.
It seems people are always working behind the scenes in order to control history. Any examples from more recent SF?
Abhinav Lal
Writer & Investor
"If you are doing good,
why try to hide it?"
The "Tales of the Terran Republic Book Series" series.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/bookseries/B015WI0ZRC/

"An agent for a spy organization uncovers an alien alliance in nearby
interstellar space—an alliance that will soon involve humanity in
politics and war on a galactic scale."

Lynn
Ted Nolan <tednolan>
2019-05-08 04:19:26 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by a***@gmail.com
Post by a***@gmail.com
In Dune, the Bene Gesserit is acting in secret to manipulate leaders
and create a genetic super being. In Foundation, IIRC, the second
foundation is working secretly to control history.
Post by a***@gmail.com
It seems people are always working behind the scenes in order to
control history. Any examples from more recent SF?
Post by a***@gmail.com
Abhinav Lal
Writer & Investor
"If you are doing good,
why try to hide it?"
The "Tales of the Terran Republic Book Series" series.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/bookseries/B015WI0ZRC/
"An agent for a spy organization uncovers an alien alliance in nearby
interstellar space—an alliance that will soon involve humanity in
politics and war on a galactic scale."
Lynn
I think several of Michael Flynn's works have a shadowy "Babbage Society"
trying to influence history. Google hits on _In The Country Of The Blind_,
but I seem to remember them in other books as well.

There was a book featuring Conan Doyle in detective mode facing such a
society, but I cannot recall the title.
--
------
columbiaclosings.com
What's not in Columbia anymore..
a***@gmail.com
2019-05-08 14:14:18 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Ted Nolan <tednolan>
Post by a***@gmail.com
Post by a***@gmail.com
In Dune, the Bene Gesserit is acting in secret to manipulate leaders
and create a genetic super being. In Foundation, IIRC, the second
foundation is working secretly to control history.
Post by a***@gmail.com
It seems people are always working behind the scenes in order to
control history. Any examples from more recent SF?
Post by a***@gmail.com
Abhinav Lal
Writer & Investor
"If you are doing good,
why try to hide it?"
The "Tales of the Terran Republic Book Series" series.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/bookseries/B015WI0ZRC/
"An agent for a spy organization uncovers an alien alliance in nearby
interstellar space—an alliance that will soon involve humanity in
politics and war on a galactic scale."
Lynn
I think several of Michael Flynn's works have a shadowy "Babbage Society"
trying to influence history. Google hits on _In The Country Of The Blind_,
but I seem to remember them in other books as well.
There is nothing particularly wrong with trying to influence history. But, if possible, it should be done in the open, and to benefit more than the ruling class. Trying to control people by physical or mental force is wrong. But it is acceptable to change the world by the strength of your arguments.

Abhinav Lal
Writer & Investor

"Don't fear the truth -
it is the only thing that can save us"
Post by Ted Nolan <tednolan>
There was a book featuring Conan Doyle in detective mode facing such a
society, but I cannot recall the title.
--
------
columbiaclosings.com
What's not in Columbia anymore..
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